Saddle Soreness

Hi folks. Looking for anybody with any ideas.

I’m fairly new to indoor cycling but have been doing a lot recently (last few months) all was well until the last few weeks where I have been developing real soreness sitting down. My research has led me too see that turbo cycling tends to be far more in the saddle than outside cycling. Through research I have tried the following:

  1. Now wear bib shorts
  2. Wear no underwear with my shorts
  3. Use chamois cream
  4. Found my sit bone size
  5. Bought a wider saddle as the one I had was far to small
  6. Played around with different saddle heights and positions
  7. Try to remember to stand up in the pedals every 10 minutes or so
  8. Exercising off bike to strengthen my core so that can sit in different lower positions

The pain got so bad yesterday that I had to stop my 2 hr training session after about 1hr 15 minutes because it was so sore. After a few minutes I continued but had to stop again after about another 30 minutes. The 2 hr session is only twice a week as most of my sessions are about an hour but they both kill me.

Anybody got any other ideas that might work. Luckily today is a rest day and I have two this week as I’m on a active recovery week but I’m dreading next week already.

Hi @Steve_Dickson59, usually wider is not better unless you had a professional bike fit and that is what they recommended. How wide of a seat did you get?

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Agree with all the points you listed.
I limit most of my sessions to 1 hour. You’re right in saying that indoor riding is much more ‘in the saddle’. I also try to shift position regularly, alternate between sitting back in the saddle, and more forward.

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Hi @Steve_Dickson59,

Try out different saddle brands. I believe there would always be a soreness when sitting on the bike specially that you’ve mentioned you were doing this for 2 hrs.

I’d recommend Fizik saddles, they have like a calculator which model suits you. I use an Aliante Large saddle (bull type) And it works for me.

Hi @Steve_Dickson59.

Disclaimer “Im not a doctor” LOL

I would suggest taking a few days off the bike or off the trainer. Use some neosporin every day untill it is better. Preparation H Hemorrhoid Symptom Treatment Cream can reduce the swelling.

Most important thing. Wash your cycling shorts after every ride, if you can get antibacterial detergent. Hang it in the sun, the sun kill a lot of bacteria.

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prolly bruised bone, prolly need to take some rest in order for it to heal up.

padded shorts + hard saddle are generally the way to go.

however if that causes too much pain, invest in a gel saddle or saddle cover as well for comfort (but will lower ur max speed a little as you lose some power being absorbed by a softer saddle). something like this: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Cover-Narrow-Saddle-Padded-Mountain/dp/B08BJZ7C7X/ref=sr_1_2_sspa
saddle position / angle affects comfort. also is the front of ur bike raised at all?
leaning forward too much can put extra pressure on the butt bones. (especially if rear of bike is raised on trainer but front is not raised to compensate).

Hi Mike.

I measured my sit bones as 150cm. I bought a 165cm saddle.

Hi Andrew,

That’s what I have been consciously doing too. It’s a bloody nightmare. :joy::joy::joy:

Hi Gerrie,

Yes I wash the shorts after every use. I bought 3 pairs so that I can just wash them every three days to save putting the machine on every day.

I’m in the U.K. so I’ll look for things similar to the ones you mention.

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Hi Ben,

Yeah I wear padded DHB shorts and the saddle is a hard one.

I’ll look into the gel saddle cover but I was reading that they are actually quite uncomfortable very quickly as they “mould” to your own shape which then is as much of a problem.

I use a Tacx Neo 2T and I have the front of the bike on the supplied block. I don’t feel as if I’m leaning too far forward.

A rocker plate did wonders for me. There are some DIY instructions on the Internet, but more and more are available for purchase. (I got mine from https://www.bikeacces.com/. Expensive, but well worth it.)

Personally, I use a Selle SMP Composit saddle (indoors and out) and find it excellent. Selle SMP saddles aren’t the cheapest out there, but they offer a nice variety of shape and padding combinations. If there is a ‘test center’ in your area I would highly recommend trying out a few to find one that ‘fits’ your anatomy.

As for indoor strategies to avoid the sore bum, I would definitely agree with making a concerted effort to get yourself out of the saddle on a more regular basis that you might outside. I’m not sure I agree with the concept of changing the saddle pressure points (i.e. rotating pelvis) as that might end up causing some other issues. It may also be that it just takes a while to get used to spending that much time on the trainer. At this point I can spend 5 or 6 hours on the trainer with no issues, and that’s without the need for any chamois cream. There are definitely days that feel better or worse, but never a day where I felt the need to get off the bike to relieve any ‘sore spots’.

Good luck in your quest!

Hi Jim,

You’ve definitely piqued my interest with this. I always feel sort of “locked in” on my trainer. When I go to stand up and pedal I feel really uncomfortable because the bike doesn’t rock from side to side. I can only stand up for very small periods of time.

What’s expensive? I bought a Tacx Neo 2T so don’t mind spending if it’s going to be worth it.

Does it give you a different feel on the bike? Does it feel good standing up to pedal? Does it feel almost like normal?

Hi Nigel,

Good information there. I would love to be as comfortable as you seem to be and spend that amount of time in the saddle. After a workout I’m tired but it’s the saddle pain that’s really putting me off. It seems to be a holy grail of cycling. Getting a comfy saddle. I’ll look into the manufacturer you talk about. I think I need to go for a professional fitting somewhere. I measured my own sit bones but it’d be good to get a professional fitting.

I’m on a rest a day today from training. Usually on rest days I’m wishing I could get out on my bike but today I’m in so much pain that I could quite easily leave it 4 days. I hate being put off.

I think there is a degree of acclimatisation. Initially I experienced numbness, but with more sessions I can tolerate longer periods in the saddle. Just saying what works for me really, but shifting position does seem to make it more comfortable. Plus sometimes standing on the pedals.
Not sure I could do a multiple hour ride yet, probably need to take a break.

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I would definitely recommend a professional fit. One thing to keep in mind with a fitter is that they can be somewhat like finding a doctor or dentist: even if they are fully competent, you may not get what you want if you can’t actually relate to what they are telling you. I think I went to 3 or 4 different fitters before finding one who could actually explain things in a way that made sense to me. Also, I’m on a Neo 2 and I find that it provides a reasonable amount of side-to-side movement. (Certainly more than something like a Kickr.) Is this still not as much as what you would like to feel? Also, beyond the standing every so often, maybe be sure to vary your cadence regularly, as well as change your hand position. I find this can help, also.

Yeah +1 changing hand position. I do it all the time.

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And freewheeling on the downhills, raising slightly off the saddle to take the pressure off your ■■■■ for a few seconds.

Can’t do that in workouts which is probabky why I’m sore. I’ve done nothing but workouts for the last 3 ½ weeks.

It looks like the current price of the one at bikeacces.com is about €250. Note that there are many more choices today (from several different manufacturers) than there were when I bought mine.

It’s a different feel, which is much more like normal. However, it’s not quite normal. Standing up is much better than without a rocker plate! Here’s a good how-to, with some videos: